Are men becoming less manly? Are we as men losing the art of masculinity? Compared to men such as our fathers and grandfathers, it would seem so.
One just needs to walk through town to notice the stark difference between millennial men and those from previous generations. Gone are the days where men looked rough and rugged. Gone are the days where men exuded an air of gentlemanly behaviour.
In fact, it seems the very traits we once admired in men have become a foul sight in modern day society. There is even research which says strong, independent, stoical, competitive and tough men have a mental issue. Wait, what? That’s just wrong, isn’t it?
If it was not for these behavioural characteristics, where would society be today? Am I right?
Yet, according to research published by the American Psychological Association, these masculine traits are linked to mental health issues, such as depression and substance abuse.
The leader of the research team at Indiana University Bloomington, Joel Wong says individuals who conform to masculine norms, tend to have poorer mental health. As well as less favourable attitudes to psychological health.
The research collated results of more than 70 US-based studies involving more than 19,000 men over 11 years. The research focused on the link between mental health, conformity and 11 masculine norms. These norms included a desire to win, need for emotional control and risk-taking.
Are men now being punished for taking risks? Are they being considered mentally ill because we want to win and be the best we can be?
Imagine if your grandfather did not want to win while fighting in World War II against Nazi Germany. Imagine if the Wright brothers were not competitive when designing the aeroplane.
With men changing according to society’s needs, the Newcastillian asked members of the community if they thought men were becoming less manly. This what they had to say.
“That is a difficult question, but I think it is both yes and no. Men are simply adjusting to the times and understanding there are a different set of norms. We are also becoming more understanding of women and knowing we are allowed to have a bit more femininity in our lives.”
Corlia Hugo and Anzell Jordaan
“Men are becoming less manly. Their hairstyles, clothing and behaviour are becoming more feminine,” says Corlia.
Anzell says a lot can be contributed to parenting, upbringing and their social lives. “They are more on their phones than going outside.”
“Yes, men are becoming less manly with the whole metrosexual thing going on. I feel men don’t want to acknowledge their role in society. Men need to realise and understand there is a difference between equity and equality.”
“It is sexist to say that men are becoming less manly, but it is the small things that made men manly which are disappearing. Chivalry has gone out of the window and when was the last time you saw a man stand aside for a woman to go past first. Manliness isn’t about the mechanic versus the pen pusher. Manliness is about the one who treats a woman like a lady. It is about a man who can take charge when the need arises and who treats others with respect.”
As young men try to follow the latest trends on so-called masculinity, what are your thoughts and views? Do you feel men and boys are coming less manly and why do you feel that way? Share your views and thoughts with us in the comments section.